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Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0004-0584On-line version ISSN 1688-1249


PASCALE, Antonio  and  LABORDE, Amalia. Effects of cannabis consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Arch. Pediatr. Urug. [online]. 2019, vol.90, n.3, pp.72-88.  Epub June 01, 2019. ISSN 0004-0584.

Marijuana consumption is lower than that of alcohol and tobacco. The highest consumption frequency takes place during reproductive age. Cannabinoids have kinetic characteristics and action mechanisms that pose a risk during pregnancy and lactation. Pregnancy involves physiological changes that facilitate fetal exposure to cannabis. The fetus vulnerability to the endocannabinoid system during the stage of neurological development raises the suspicion of adverse effects linked to the exposure to cannabis and derivatives. The objective of this paper is to update the scientific data regarding the effects of the use of cannabis and derivatives during pregnancy and lactation. We carried out a descriptive review of scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals between January 2010 and December 2018. We included a database analysis and used combinations of terms in English and Spanish: "marijuana", "cannabis", "cannabinoids", "pregnancy", "lactation". The effects of marijuana consumption during pregnancy are not conclusive, although there is growing evidence that it might be linked to birth alterations, such as low birth weight and neurodevelopmental damage remaining until late childhood and adolescence. No link was found to other indicators, such as perinatal mortality and pre-term births. The self-reported studies analyzed posed various weaknesses, mainly uncertainties and confusion regarding the consumption of other substances. So far, we have enough evidence to adopt a precautionary principle and to recommend against the use of cannabis during pregnancy and lactation.

Keywords : Marijuana use; Pregnancy; Lactation.

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